Tianguis celebrates Mexica New Year

Mexica New Year
Photo by Edgar Galvan
In an alley by the plaza, heavy bass of funk playing out of custom candy painted lowriders sitting in three wheel motion. Photo by Edgar Galvan

Burning copal surrounded Mexica dancers as they celebrated the coming of the Mexica New Year on Calle Cuatro Plaza on March 5.

In prayer to mother earth, beaded skirts and vibrant feathered headdresses swayed under the rain while hundreds circulated in and out of Tianguis Market.

“Empezamos a limpiar [una hora antes] para que cuando llegaran los danzantes, estuviera limpio para que ellos bailen,” said Tekuani Tepactia. “Una limpieza espiritual.” 

We started cleansing [an hour before] so that when the dancers arrived, it would be clean for them to dance. A spiritual cleansing.

Lowrider clubs, local artisans, Mexica Dancers, food booths and more, came together to celebrate the Nemontemi. The Nemontemi, Nahuatl for “they fill up in vain,” are the five days needed to complete the solar cycle, but not added directly to the Mexica (Aztec) calendar. 

“Son cinco días que quedan volando, y se usan para la limpieza,” said Tekuani Tepactia.

It’s five days left flying, and they’re used for cleaning.

This event marked the upcoming completion of the 2022 Mexica year of the rabbit, Tochtli, and the coming of the 2023 year of the reed, Akatl, on Mar 12.

Xoloitzcuintles, Mexican hairless dogs are often seen as guides into the afterlife. Aztecs sought Xolos as loyal companions. Photo by Edgar Galvan
Grupo Lazaro celebrated the Mexica new year. The banging on huēhuētles, handmade Mexican drums, emulated a heartbeat, letting the dancers circulate like a bloodstream. Photo by Edgar Galvan
Early in the day, a quinceanera was celebrated in the plaza, signifying her entrance into fertility and womanhood—maiz tierno. An ancient ritual fused with a modern day celebration. Photo by Edgar Galvan
This event gave the opportunity for more distinctive vendors who provided Mexica style jewelry and accessories. Photo by Edgar Galvan

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